News Nuggets

first_imgHere’s a collection of news items that deserve quick notice:Mars Rumbles:  Mars still has minor earthquakes, says Space.com, That’s without plate tectonics, “But scientists don’t know exactly how Mars is constructed.”  The Mars Exploration Rovers, meanwhile, awaking from a winter’s nap, are still gathering science data long past their expected lifetime.  Evidence for past water is being claimed, even though it would have been loaded with epsom salt.  Mars Express has photographed the southern highlands, an area of thick volcanic ash deposits, wind-blown dust, and dust devils.A-Maize-ing Genes:  The genome of maize (corn) shows some surprises, according to EurekAlert.  It has 59,000 genes, and 22% of them are unique compared to closely related species.  That’s more difference than between apes and humans.  “It looks like significant evolutionary change happened in a relatively short time,” and maybe there was a merger in corn’s past.  Or so the story goes.  “Plants are continually faced with a variety of seasonal challenges and assaults by a series of different pests which may well lead to evolution on a fast track.”  Makes sense when you don’t think about it.Molecular Clock Fixed?  Nature Science Update reports on a French team that developed a new computer model for getting the so-called “molecular clock” – the rate genes mutate – to correlate with the fossil record (see 04/20/2004 headline).  They calibrated assumed evolutionary changes in the genes to six fossil species, and then built an evolutionary tree based on it.  Not all are convinced, though.  In one case, the tree says that a red alga appeared after its fossil.Cave Dating:  In Earth and Planetary Science Letters Oct. 15, pp. 265-273, an international team dated aragonite formations in a South African cave.  They extracted thin cores from two speleothems.  They claimed the cores correlate with climate, but there were anomalies.  The trace minerals don’t correlate with rainfall, the cores don’t correlate with temperature, and the two stalactites don’t correlate with each other; one outgrew the other six-fold in an inferred 11-year period.  This led them to conclude that “the constant speleothem growth rate we assume is simplistic.  The growth rate of the speleothem undoubtedly varies within an annual cycle (growing faster in the rainy season and slower over the dry season) and between different years (growing more in wet years and less in drier ones).”DNA Repair Team Can Dance:  An article in Cell last month (118:6, 17 Sep 2004, 666-668, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2004.09.006) described what your DNA repair team (see 01/04/2002 headline) does as a sophisticated kind of ballet, with both orchestra and dancers:  “Repair of damaged DNA is a dynamic process that requires careful orchestration of a multitude of enzymes, adaptor proteins, and chromatin constituents…. ”  Double-stranded DNA breaks are particularly deadly, but the repairmen, like NYFD heroes, know just what to do, and they can dance:But how is the multifaceted DSB response “choreographed” so that each molecular “dancer” involved knows when to arrive on the stage, how long and with whom to perform, and when to give way to those that are scheduled to follow?  Amazingly, nature has provided cells with a score for a fascinating play called “DNA repair.”  Although we have known some of the “dancers” for quite awhile, only now are we actually beginning to see the performance unfold in front of our eyes.The authors refer to a paper in the same issue by Columbia University scientists, Michael Lisby et al., entitled “Choreography of the DNA Damage Response.”  A related story using the choreography metaphor was posted on EurekAlert.Junk DNA Promoted:  Another story strengthens the case that there is no such thing as “junk DNA” (see 05/27/2004 and 05/23/2003 headlines).  A story posted on EurekAlert says that mobile elements called retrotransposons, long thought to be junk from retroviruses that propagate at random in the genome, actually provide “ a large repository of start sites for initiating gene expression” that is apparently very important for developing embryos.  “Therefore, more than one third of the mouse and human genomes, previously thought to be non-functional, may play some role in the regulation of gene expression and promotion of genetic diversity.”  See also the writeup in Science News 166:16, week of Oct. 16, 2004, p. 243.Fossil Fool’s Gold:  A paper in Geology this month examines the fine preservation of China’s Chengjiang fossils (see 07/22/2004 headline) and suggests that pyrite was involved.  “The apparent explosive diversification of animal life in the Cambrian is one of the most significant events in the history of life and continues to be controversial,” the paper begins.  Another paper in the same issue that describes a discovery of Early Cambrian bilaterian embryos and larvae from China states, “In contrast to the Precambrian, evidence for the structural diversity of embryos and larvae in Cambrian strata is mounting.”Flip & Flap over ID Paper:  The journal that published Stephen Meyer’s intelligent design paper (see 09/24/2004 headline) has now issued a statement that the article should not have been published.  To Mark Hartwig writing in Access Research Network’s Weekly Wedge Update, though, this can hardly help their reputation.  Meanwhile, the Discovery Institute continues to publish line-by-line refutations of criticisms coming from pro-Darwin forces.Fall Colors Delight Tourists, Confuse Scientists:  When leaves turn red and yellow, there’s a “reason for the season,” says National Geographic News, but then fails to find it.  Yellow is explained by the plant shutting down chlorophyll (green) production, which otherwise swamps the yellow color that is always present.  But production of xanthophylls (red) is costly; is it for sunscreen?  Antioxidants?  Fungal protection?  No one knows for sure why deciduous forests turn a riot of color in the fall (see 10/19/2001 headline).  One thing is for sure: humans like it.(Visited 11 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Continue reading

Corn bearish, soybeans bullish

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Doug Tenney, Leist MercantileShock and awe with acres numbers today. Corn bearish, soybeans bullish. USDA did it again, it’s called a surprise!At a time when traders, producers, and end users are starving for information on acres and yield, today’s acres report falls far short. There is a vast amount of irony today due to what many have expected and what the numbers should reveal but likely won’t.The corn acres were 91.7 million acres while soybean acres were 80 million acres. Shortly after the report corn was down 11 cents, soybeans were up 12 cents.Shortly before the report, corn was up 2 cents, soybeans up 4 cents, wheat up 1 cent. The average corn acres estimate was 86.7 million acres with a range of 82 to 89.8 million acres. The average trade estimate for soybean acres was 84.4 million acres with a range of 81 to 86.5 million acres.The most attention today will focus primarily with corn. For weeks since mid-May there has intense focus on the lack of corn planting progress. Print and digital media have bombarded producers with literally a cascade of articles detailing prevent planting payment calculations and the author’s recommendations. USDA stopped collecting farmers’ surveys of acres planted and or their intentions to plant before many had made final decisions to not plant corn and soybeans. Those decisions to not plant were made June 10 and after.While Ohio leads the Midwest with the lack of planting progress on June 24 for corn and soybeans among the top eight U.S. states for corn and soybean production, don’t pin your hopes and 2019 gross revenues on this fact leading the market higher. Closer examination for 2018 US corn production reveals Ohio was 8th in corn production with 617 million bushels. Total U.S. corn production in 2018 was 14.4 billion bushels with Ohio producing 4.2% of the nation’s corn. Ranking the top 10 states in 2018 US corn production would be — Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska, Minnesota, Indiana, South Dakota, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Missouri.Without question the corn and soybean rally since mid-May has been solely a supply driven rally. Corn has pulled corn and soybeans along for the ride. Supply driven rallies are extremely volatile and difficult to navigate. A bull needs to be fed every day. The same can be said for a bull market.The weather with numerous weeks of rains and lack of sunshine resulted in week after week of planting delays. As the delays mounted the number of acres of corn not planted grew as well. Trader estimates were all over the spectrum as they pegged corn prevented planted acres anywhere from 4.5 million acres to as 12 million acres. It is still a moving target. It will likely be the Aug. 12 report when more is known on actual U.S. corn and soybean acres.The market drifted lower for weeks this spring.  The U.S./China trade talks which so many producers had pinned their hopes for a better 2019, collapsed when an agreement nor its signing date never materialized. The addition of a bearish March grain stocks report led some to believe U.S. corn production in 2018 may be have been larger than first reported. In addition,  monthly WASDE (supply and demand) reports this spring had less corn being fed to livestock. This number was inconsistent compared to past years. The news cycle was dominated with negative news. Within days, the start of a spring rally never imagined by producers was in its infancy.Weather will be a key factor in July. Hot and dry is typically bullish. Cool and wet is typically associated with the adage “rain makes grain.” More grain is bearish for prices. However, this summer cool and wet is likely to not be bearish most of the time.In case you have not come to this conclusion, put a few more notches in your seat belt. Buckle up.last_img read more

Continue reading

9 Informative Adobe Encore DVD Authoring Tutorials

first_imgOne product in the Adobe Production Suite that often gets overlooked is the powerful Encore DVD authoring application.  Here are 9 tutorials that will get you up to speed on Encore in no time!Creative Cow contributor and Premiumbeat blogger Andrew Devis recently completed a 9 video tutorial series on creating and authoring DVDs in Adobe Encore.  Although video pros are dealing less and less with DVDs, for many clients and consumers it’s still the medium of choice.  Knowing how to create and deliver quality (and often complex) DVDs is still essential for post production professionals.  In addition to standard DVDs, Encore provides the tools necessary to author Blu-Rays.In this 9 part video series for Creative Cow, Andrew walks you through all stages of Adobe Encore DVD creation, from importing video sequences to creating complex menus and buttons.  3 videos are dedicated to creating Slideshows using Encore – a robust use of that application.Naturally, the more complex the DVD project the more room there is for error.  Andrew walks you through how to check your DVD for quality and insure it’s free from common oversights and errors.  The last thing you want is to deliver a DVD to a client with tracks disconnected or playback errors – ouch!Adobe Encore is a good solution if you’re looking for a DVD solution in your post production pipeline, especially if you’re already an Adobe diehard or Premiere Pro editor.Check out the first few Adobe Encore tutorial videos below (the full series is on Creative Cow).What do YOU use for your DVD authoring?Are your clients still asking for DVDs?  Blu-Rays?Let us know in the comments!last_img read more

Continue reading

NIA-police team fired at in U.P.

first_imgA mob fired at a joint team of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the Uttar Pradesh police which were carrying out searches at Pilakhua, near Ghaziabad, on Sunday in connection with the killing of an RSS leader in Punjab. The mob threw stones at the team injuring a policeman, the NIA said.An NIA spokesperson said that during the investigation into the killing of RSS leader Ravinder Gosain in Ludhiana, investigators came across the names of certain suspected arms smugglers who had supplied firearms to the accused in Punjab. The NIA said that Sikh extremist elements were suspected to be involved in Gosain’s killing.An NIA team, with the assistance of the State police, conducted searches to apprehend the suspected arms suppliers in Meerut district during the intervening night of December 2 and 3, the spokesperson said in a statement.Constable injuredOn getting more leads, further raids were conducted at the residence of the suspect Malook at Nahali village in Ghaziabad on Sunday. A large crowd tried to obstruct the team, and some people opened fire on them, resulting in injury to Uttar Pradesh police constable Tahjib Khan, besides damage to official vehicles, the spokesperson said.The mob staged multiple road blockades to obstruct the officials in the discharge of their duties. In self-defence, the U.P. police and NIA personnel also fired in the air, the spokesperson said. Two being questionedTwo suspects are currently being questioned regarding their alleged involvement in the case. Efforts are being made to locate Malook who is wanted in connection with the supply of arms and ammunition used in the killing in Punjab.On November 30, the NIA registered a case to investigate the killing of Gosain, under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.Gosain, the ‘Mukhya Shikshak’ of the Mohan shakha of the RSS, was shot dead outside his residence in Ludhiana’s Gagandeep Colony on October 17 by two unidentified assailants on a motorbike.The Punjab police, which was earlier probing the case, arrested Ramandeep Singh and Hardeep Singh a few days after the incident.last_img read more

Continue reading